I was at Bellevue all day this past Wednesday, getting a full health/mental health screening at the WTC Health Center. I lived below Canal Street and was home at the time of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Wow, Bellevue has changes quite a bit since I worked there almost 20 years ago at a reception center for homeless mentally ill men. I wasn’t diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder at the time. I WAS extremely depressed, but didn’t know it was a clinical condition or could do anything about it. I was in therapy, but my therapist never addressed my really devastating depression or my abusive domestic relationship. My then- girlfriend, a psychiatrist, was verbally and psychologically abusing me. She later got physically violent. That’s when I left.
I began what I did not know was rapid cycling; I was manic for a long time. Lots of energy, sex drive and tons of fun, and in a new relationship to boot. Then I crashed. I was with a ew therapist this time and saw a psychiatrist. Finally, I was diagnosed as Bipolar. Then the WTC tumbled to the ground in smoke and ashes and NYC and the US were all on Red Alert. I was unemployed, my new girlfriend was cheating on me… I received help from the Red Cross, who was then administering the WTC funds. The mental health coverage paid for my therapist and shrink. And I am very grateful.
I am again unemployed, working through it all and still need to pay my therapist and psychiatrist so am again grateful for the help I received from Bellevue and especially the social worker I saw there who told me about the all the various programs available.
I’ve kind of lost the point I originally intended for this post, but wanted to write something personal for a change rather than just posting a news story. I saw my former boss on Thursday. I told him about Beautiful Wreck: Sex, Lies & Suicide. He read this blog, my description pf my memoir in the About section here and said he hadn’t appreciated how sick I was when we worked together. Neither did I. I was involved with a woman who was a PSYCHIATRIST and who abused me, and also used various mental illness diagnoses to abuse me. She never helped me. I’m not sure what I want to say except that I am more than happy about my new therapist whom I have been seeing for about four years. My life is at a point where I can be unemployed not have a dime in my pocket, be on the verge of homelessness and still not resort to suicide.
It’s really important to put in place a support network, whoever you are, but especially if you are mentally ill. It takes a village after all…to support anyone and everyone. I respect my biological family and family of friends who have supported me, mostly in the past four years, but also a few individuals prior to that.
And so it goes…